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Daines discusses drug addiction concerns at Kalispell hospital

Posted at 3:13 PM, Feb 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-21 18:35:23-05
Steve Daines KRMC
Sen. Daines talked with KRMC staff about the prevalence of drug-addicted babies in the Montana. (Maren Siu/MTN News photo)

KALISPELL – US Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) was in Kalispell on Wednesday to talk with staff about the prevalence of drug-addicted babies in the state of Montana.

The Republican told the staff at Kalispell Regional Medical Center that he had just visited another hospital in Montana where 9-out-of-9 babies were born addicted to drugs. He added that the number of meth seizures in the state have doubled within this past year.

Specialists told Sen. Daines the cause of drug-addicted babies varies and that socioeconomic status and family life can all play a part.

The panelists also emphasized the importance of being kind and understanding to the mother’s that are addicted. Many times these mothers see no choice and have to continue using drugs while they are pregnant.

Experts say that meth is currently the number one drug they are seeing that mom’s and babies are addicted to in the state.

KRMC Baby Technology
KRMC assesses drug-addicted babies around the state by using a special telecommunications video device and baby simulator. (MTN News photo)

KRMC assesses drug-addicted babies around the state by using a special telecommunications video device and baby simulator that allows other hospitals to call into the neonatal unit where a neonatal specialist can walk them through the steps of caring for a newly born drug addicted baby.

MTN News talked with Sen. Daines about what his plans are to address the serious drug epidemic in Montana.

“One would be working on ways to eliminate the demand for these drugs.  What’s the core issue, of why Montanas are getting addicted to these horrible, horrible drugs and dealing with the core issues,” Sen. Daines said.

“The second is stopping the source. Stopping these Mexican cartels that are bringing high potent meth into the state of Montana.  We’ve got to stop that,” he added. “And securing the southern border is one way to do that.”

Sen. Daines’ next stop is Great Falls, where he plans on speaking with law enforcement to see what can be done about drug addiction.

Reporting by Maren Siu for MTN News